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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Creators of Jewish comic stories at SDCCI

Tomorrow, the 2009 San Diego Comic Con begins. If you don't have a pass for it yet, forget it ; they're all sold out!

In attendance will be a whole bunch of writers and artists who have worked / are working on Jewish comic stories (and many of them are Jewish themselves).

Below is a list I have compiled.

Sergio Aragon├ęs (who illustrated the "Fanny Hillman : Jewish Madam" books and adapted the Jonah story for Testament)

Peter David (who infamously used the names of seder plate items for aliens in a Star Trek novel and who wrote the stories for The Incredible Hulk #386-387 ; see and

Tony deZuniga (illustrator of the stories "Black Crossing" and "There Comes Now Raging Fire" in Strange Tales #176 & #177)

Mark Evanier (author of a Crossfire story for a Free Comic Book Day comic involving a Holocaust survivor who tries to kill a suspected Nazi war criminal)

Danny Fingeroth (author of Disguised as Clark Kent : Jews, Comics and the Creation of the Superhero)

Neil Gaiman (Jewish author who retold a midrash on Adam's 2nd wife and had a Jewish musician meet Death in the pages of his Sandman series)

Sammy Harkham (author-illustrator of "Lubavitch, Ukraine 1876", which appeared in Kramer's Ergot #6)

Arie Kaplan (author of From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books, as well as the story "Not a (Green, Slimy) Creature was Stirring" in The Simpsons Winter Wing Ding #3) [Arie will be an attendee, not an exhibitor]

Neil Kleid (author of the graphic novel Brownsville, as well as the forthcoming Migdal David and The Big Khan)

Peter Kuper (author-illustrator of the short biographical story "Promised Land" in Bleeding Heart #2, as well as the book-length autobiographical Stop Forgetting to Remember : The Autobiography of Walter Kurtz)

Scott Kurtz (author-illustrator of PVP, the Eisner-award-winning online comic strip which in 2006 made a joke about the Superman Returns movie being "a Jewish conspiracy to convince Christians that Jesus was gay")

Stan Lee (Jewish comics legend who co-created the Fantastic Four, which has a Jewish chartacter called The Thing and who appeared in the story "What if the Original Marvel Bullpen was the Fantastic Four?" in What If? #11)

Paul Levitz (author of "Tradition" in DC Comics' 9-11 September 11th 2001)

Miriam Libicki (author of the jobnik! series, the first volume of which has been collected in trade paperback)

Rob Liefeld (illustrator of stories in the Youngblood series, which included the Israeli superheroine Masada)

Jason Lutes (author-illustrator of the comic series berlin, which has been collected in the trade paperbacks Berlin : City of Stones and Berlin : City of Smoke and author of Houdini : The Handcuff King)

Jim Mahfood (author of Grrl Scouts, which had a Jewish character)

Todd McFarlane (co-plotter of the story "Remains" in Spawn #103)

Doug Moench (author of "The Greatest Evil" story in Batman #551-552)

Steve Niles (author of the golem story Criminal Macabre: Feat of Clay)

Jimmy Palmiotti (co-creator of the Monolith)

Stephan Pastis (author-illustrator of the syndicated comic strip Pearls Before Swine, which had a strip about a bombing in Jeruslaem)

a TV set tells the horror of an attck on an Israeli bus and the young victims who were on it

Chari Pere (author-illustrator of the webcomic Of Biblical Proportions) [Chari will be an attendee, not an exhibitor]

Trina Robbins (co-author of "Zog Nit Keyn Mol : the Partisans Song" and author of "The Triangle Fire" which was published in both Corporate Crime Comics #2 and Lilith Magazine #2)

Jon Rosenberg (author-illustrator of the webcomic Goats which includes the Jewish character "Jon", as seen in the strip from Nov. 24, 2005)

Bill Sienkiewicz (illustrator of the story "Into the Abyss" in New Mutants #27, which had the Israeli mutant character Legion)

Gail Simone (who wrote the story "Li'l Krusty in Give a Hoot, Stay in School" in Simpsons #62)

Richard Starkings (co-author of Elephantmen #2, which had a rabbi character in it [or a character called "Rabbi"])

Cameron Stewart (illustrator of Manhattan Guardian #1, in which the title character battles a golem)

J. Michael Straczynski (author of the Spider-Man story "You Want Pants with That?" and the Rising Stars story "Selah")

Len Wein (writer of the golem story in Strange
#174 - see

G. Willow Wilson (author of the graphic novel Cairo)

Judd Winick (author-illustrator of Pedro and Me and Caper #1-4)

Marv Wolfman (author of The story "Return from the Grave!" in Tomb of Dracula #27, "Introducing the Hybrid" in The New Teen Titans #24 and Homeland : The Illustrated History of the State of Israel)

Below are sessions that might be of interest to those who enjoy Jewish comics &/or those inetersted in Jewish cartoonists.


1:30-2:30 Spotlight on Jerry Robinson — One of the true legends of comics, Comic-Con special guest Jerry Robinson is a writer, artist, comics historian, museum show curator, and creator rights activist. Noted comics writer and editor Mark Waid (BOOM! Studios editor-in-chief) interviews Jerry about his life in comics, from his early days on Batman to his founding of the Bill Finger Excellence in Comic Writing Award. Room 4

11:00-12:00 Spirituality in Comics — Panelists discuss the influence of spiritual themes in comics and popular culture, and the importance of spirituality to readers, creators, and the stories they tell. Moderated by Scott Shuford of the Christian Comic Arts Society, with panelists including Holly Golightly (School Bites), Buzz Dixon (Serenity, Goofyfoot Gurl), Leo Partible (Behind the Screen: Insiders on Faith), and others. Room 3

1:00-2:00 Comics Arts Conference Session #11: The (Strange) State of Siegel and Shuster Scholarship — Brad Ricca (Case Western Reserve University), director of Last Son, a scholarly documentary on Siegel and Shuster, moderates this conversational panel featuring Craig Yoe (Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman Co-Creator Joe Shuster) and Lauren Agostino, an independent scholar, who will share letters connected to the 1947 lawsuit and portions of the original Superboy script that completely upset a lot of myths about who created Superboy. Room 30AB

5:00-6:00 Graphic Novels: Sense of History — There's a wonderful world of history awaiting you in numerous graphic novels available now. Whether it be real life stories adapting historical events to the comics form or fiction taking place in a specific time, these practitioners of the historical graphic novel are all presenting work at the top of their form. Moderator Randy Duncan (co-chair of the Comics Arts Conference) talks to Rick Geary (Treasury of XX Century Murder: Famous Players), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo), Jason Lutes (Berlin), Chris Schweizer (Crogan's Vengeance), and Eric Shanower (Age of Bronze) about their individual takes on history. Room 8

6:00-7:00 Harvey Kurtzman/MAD— The creator of MAD and Playboy's "Little Annie Fanny," Harvey Kurtzman was called "one of the most important figures in postwar America" by the New York Times. Kurtzman discovered Robert Crumb and gave Gloria Steinem her first job in publishing. Terry Gilliam started at Kurtzman's side, met an unknown John Cleese in the process, and the genesis of Monty Python took place. Art Speigelman has said that he owes his career to Kurtzman. And Kurtzman is one of Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner's favorite artists. Harvey was an astonishingly talented and influential artist, writer, editor, and satirist without whom treasures such as Saturday Night Live, Airplane!, and The Simpsons may never have been conceived. This panel promises to be a lively discussion about the life and work of "The MAD Genius of Comics," led by comics historian Mark Evanier and featuring Kurtzman's daughter, Nellie Kurtzman; the author of the just released The Art of Harvey Kurtzman the MAD Genius of Comics, Dennis Kitchen; Paul Levitz (president/publisher of DC Comics/MAD); William Stout (a colleague of Kurtzman who worked on "Little Annie Fanny"); and Charles Kochman (executive editor of Abrams ComicArts). Room 3

10:00-11:00 The Annual Jack Kirby Tribute Panel — Fifteen years ago, Jack Kirby left us, but his vision and creations live on to inspire everyone who comes into contact with his work. Mark Evanier (author, Kirby: King of Comics) moderates this annual tribute to the King. Joining Mark this year will be actor Bill Mumy, Kirby inker Mike Royer, editor Steve Saffel, and members of the legendary "5-String Mob," a group of Comic-Con founding members who Kirby immortalized in the pages of Jimmy Olsen: Barry Alfonso, Roger Freedman, William R. Lund, Scott Shaw!, and Mike Towry. Room 4

10:00-11:00 Christian Comics Meeting — What are the different ways that Christian creators express their faith through their art? How can "new media" best be used to communicate timeless truths? Discuss the latest trends of the Christian comics movement with moderator Buzz Dixon (Serenity, Goofyfoot Gurl) and panelists Eric Jansen (Foursquare Missions Press), Leo Partible (Behind the Screen: Insiders on Faith, Film & Culture), and others. A short sermon and worship music will precede the panel discussion. Room 24A

Finally, I have listed below the Jewish comics works which have been nomianted for an Eisner award.

Best Humor Publication
Wondermark: Beards of Our Forefathers by David Malki (contains some funny Jewish jokes)

Best Graphic Album -- Reprint
Berlin Book 2: City of Smoke by Jason Lutes

Best Archival Collection/Project – Strips
Explainers by Jules Feiffer

Best Archival Collection/Project -- Comic Books
Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! by Art Spiegelman

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
The Rabbi’s Cat 2 by Joann Sfar

Best Writer/Artist
Jason Lutes, Berlin

Best Publication Design
Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! designed by Art Spiegelman


Wyman said...

What a great list! As a longtime San Diego resident, I wish I could have been at ComicCon this year to meet the artists you mention. It would be wonderful if the artists would help support the Vilnius Jewish Library by donating comic art for the library walls. It took thousands upon thousands to destroy Jewish culture in the Jerusalem of Lithuania. One person alone can't rebuild everything. It requires the assistance of the worldwide Jewish community.

Wyman Brent
Vilnius Jewish Library

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